Global & Disaster Medicine

The Third Plague Pandemic

The Third Plague Pandemic in Europe

“……The Third Plague Pandemic originated in the Yunnan region of southwest China, where plague caused multiple outbreaks since 1772 [1517]. In 1894, plague reached Canton and then spread to Hong Kong, where Alexandre Yersin identified the bacterium.It was then carried by ships to Japan, Singapore, Taiwan and the Indian subcontinent [18,19]. Over the next few years, plague spread to many cities around the world: Bombay, Singapore, Alexandria, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Honolulu, San Francisco and Sidney, among others [20]. The earliest known European cases occurred in September and October 1896, when two sailors from Bombay died of plague on ships docked in London on the Thames [21]…….There were 1692 cases and 457 deaths from plague reported in Europe between 1899 and 1947 (figure 1; electronic supplementary material, table S1), with the largest number of cases in the years 1899 and 1920. Cases were geographically widespread, although they were primarily found in coastal or inland port cities (figure 2). Plague was reported in 11 countries, and many cities, including Lisbon, Marseille, Paris and Pireas, experienced multiple outbreaks…….”

Three images showing different forms of plague.  The first one showing a person with bubonic plage which is shows a large lump in his groin, the second is of Septicemic plague which shows a person's foot that is swollen and bruised, and the third image is Pneumonic plague which shows an ex-ray of a persons lungs.


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